Friday, November 13, 2009

Eeek! There's Something in My House!

When the weather is nice, my DH and I leave the back door open so our two dogs can go in and out as they please and neither of us has to continually get up to let them outside and back in again.  Sometimes they get bored during the night after a long, hard day of sleeping and napping, and decide they need to go outside every hour.  Every. Hour. This happens often during the times of year that it's too hot or too cold to leave it open.  They love making sure Mommy doesn't get any sleep.  For added fun, one will go outside, frolic for a few minutes before coming inside, and we'll both settle back down to sleep.  At which time the other one will promptly jump out of bed to run to the back door and demand to be let outside. Lather, rinse, repeat. 

It's been pretty mild lately, so last night we had the door open and both girls decided to go outside at the same time.  Since the door was open I didn't bother to get up.  That is, until they both let out these frantic, ear-piercing barks and would not stop.  Of course it's nearly 2:00 am, so I have to get up to get them to be quiet before my neighbors form a lynch mob.  They don't normally bark at night, so I didn't know what they were going on about.  They were on the back porch trying to get behind the BBQ grill, and they obviously thought they had something that required a full frontal assault.  Have I mentioned that it was raining and the back porch was partially flooded?  (Thanks, Ida.)  My little prima donnas do not like getting wet, so for them to be standing in a puddle while trying their hardest to get at this mystery prize really meant something. I'm looking all over the place and can't figure out what in the world they are going on about.  There's nothing there!  Do they see dead people?  It was kind of starting to freak me out. 

I made them come inside and closed the door, and tried to get them to come back to bed.  Then they started yip-yapping again!  And they were aiming at something.  So I got on my hands and knees to try to see what it is they were barking at now.  We were currently in the Why-Do-You-Have-a-Dining-Table-When-You-Only-Eat-in-Front-of-the-TV? room.  I finally got them to stop barking while I inspected the nooks and crannies of the room, and I realized that my dogs were finally being quiet, BUT SOMETHING WAS STILL GROWLING!!  Holy crap!  I finally caught site of something fuzzy, and it was growling up a storm.  This was no dog growl or kitty growl. 

There was a freaking wild animal in my house!

My DH had heard the commotion and realized when I got "serious" about herding the dogs back into the bedroom that Something Was Going On.  So we locked the girls in the bedroom and tried to figure out what the furball with the deep, creepy growl was and how we were going to get it out of our house.  I pulled the baby gate out and put it up so that the animal couldn't get to anywhere other than the kitchen and dining room.  By this time my husband had seen enough of the critter to realize it was a POSSUM! (Opossum, whatever.)  Thankfully it was just a baby and probably only weighed about 3 to 4 pounds.  My girls are only 4 to 5 pounds each, so if it had been a big possum they'd have been snack-meat.  Normally I'm one of the few people who actually thing possums are cute (especially the younger ones!).  But this thing was IN MY HOUSE!
I imagined this huge ordeal in trying to get the thing out the door.  Would it be all snarly and attack-y?  Would we get all scratched up and bitten?  And at the same time, I was thinking how this could make a really good blog post!  I restrained myself from getting out my camera to document the event.  

It turns out the actual removal stage was pretty anti-climactic.  It didn't howl, hiss, or growl anymore now that the girls were locked away.  It didn't even play dead!  DH, who had donned jeans and boots just in case, stood on top of the dining table and used the broom to gently nudge the possum towards the door.  It didn't seem to care much.  It just did a slow-motion saunter around the room, silently guided by my kitchen broom until it was back outside.  It disappeared behind the grill again, and we have no idea where it went.  It's like the ghost coon from the book Where the Red Fern Grows

Another thing I kept thinking of as I was watching my husband herd the possum out of our house? SeafoodPunch's lovely depiction of possums.  Check out their site for more fun! 


  1. No way, a possum in your house?? That would have FREAKED me out. I'm so glad the little one left without a fuss.

  2. i love possums! They sure beat skunks... that is for sure! I wanna pet baby possum!

    but now you have intrigued me with this ghost possum in the fern book. tell me more...

  3. Spleeness: Yep, a POSSUM! I would have freaked quite a bit if my husband wasnt' home to take care of the actual removal. He was smart enough to use the broom to guide it out of the house. I'd have been dumb enough to try to find a way to pick it up. Doh!

    Seafood: Haha, it's actually a ghost coon (racoon) in the book. It's a really old racoon that hunters have been after for years, and he's so smart none of the coon dogs can ever tree him. They always think they've got him, but he disappears. It's an excellent book. You should read it! I don't think there are any possums in it though.

  4. Ah! That would freak me out big time.

  5. Ha! You leave your DOORS open? Amazing that you haven't encountered more *visitors* in your house!

  6. Aieeeee!!!!! I wouldn't have gotten to sleep after that. For days. Ew. Ugh. And gross. Glad it turned out OK, and will you reconsider leaving the door open now?

  7. Wendi: Me too if it had been an adult and if my husband hadn't been home.

    Pop and Ice: Yes, it's amazing. I guess we'd been fortunate.

    Kathy: Yes, we now keep the door closed!!And now every time I hear a noise, I stop to listen very carefully to see if it sounds like a possum!

  8. Oh, and did we decide whether it's "a possum" or "opposum" or what? My spell checker doesn't like the latter.

  9. I always say "possum". According to it's mostly a southern thing and has a name - aphesis. (Well, I AM from South Carolina...) So I guess possum is just a shortened name for opossum.

    "Since English is a language that stresses some syllables and not others, weakly stressed syllables, especially those preceding strong stresses, are dropped at times. This process, called aphesis when it occurs at the beginning of a word, is more common in regional American dialects than in the more conservative Standard English, which tends to retain in pronunciation anything reflected in spelling. Although many American dialects feature aphesis, it is most famous in the dialects of the South, where it yields pronunciations such as count of for (on) account of, tater for potato, possum for opossum, and skeeter for mosquito."

    For the record, I do NOT say skeeter, tater, or "count of".